The Return of Talking Time

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  #1  
Old 09-28-2017, 07:30 PM
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Default Watching LPs as a substitute for playing games

I've begun watching LPs of games I'm interested in enough to dabble in but not enough to play. It's extraordinarily convenient because it takes far less time and mental energy than actually playing through it. I typically turn the playback speed up to 150%. It's also much quicker to go in and out of a YouTube video than most actual games when there are only a few minutes to kill.

Just in case you think I'm committing a crime against gaming, I've played thousands of games and beaten hundreds. I'm just saving my time and energy for games I really want to play, which right now is the greatest hits of the Wii U catalog.

The LPs I've recently watched are Phantasy Star 1 and 2, 30% of 4 but I'm stopping for now because it's long, Metroid 2, Top Gun 1 and 2 NES, Ninja Turtles 1 and 3 NES, Blaster Master and Adventures of Bayou Billy. I'm now on Bionic Commando NES. There are plenty of newer games on my list, but I really enjoy being able to watch a whole game in about 2 hours.

I'm committing a major faux pas by admitting all this, aren't I?
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2017, 07:44 PM
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I only read LPs, because I am a text-happy snob.

That makes me worse than you!
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega View Post
I've begun watching LPs of games I'm interested in enough to dabble in but not enough to play. It's extraordinarily convenient because it takes far less time and mental energy than actually playing through it. I typically turn the playback speed up to 150%. It's also much quicker to go in and out of a YouTube video than most actual games when there are only a few minutes to kill.

Just in case you think I'm committing a crime against gaming, I've played thousands of games and beaten hundreds. I'm just saving my time and energy for games I really want to play, which right now is the greatest hits of the Wii U catalog.

The LPs I've recently watched are Phantasy Star 1 and 2, 30% of 4 but I'm stopping for now because it's long, Metroid 2, Top Gun 1 and 2 NES, Ninja Turtles 1 and 3 NES, Blaster Master and Adventures of Bayou Billy. I'm now on Bionic Commando NES. There are plenty of newer games on my list, but I really enjoy being able to watch a whole game in about 2 hours.

I'm committing a major faux pas by admitting all this, aren't I?
I'm pretty sure that is the primary mechanism by which children experience video games these days, if my nephews are any indication.

Last edited by jpfriction; 09-28-2017 at 09:49 PM. Reason: Cousins, hah. Barely have any under 40.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:42 PM
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I like to watch games instead of playing them sometimes too. It is not a shameful admission.
I however, like any executive-trajectory sort of person, go for the digest reader version -- TASes.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teaspoon View Post
I only read LPs, because I am a text-happy snob.

That makes me worse than you!
Video LPs are just harder for me to watch. I can't at work, people speak so much slower than I read and personally there's usually something I'm specifically interested in. I can search a text LP but not a video.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muteKi View Post
I however, like any executive-trajectory sort of person, go for the digest reader version -- TASes.
I would love players digests of RPGs that cut them down to theatrical length movies. I started watching a Phantasy Star 4 LP but even with the LPer knowing what he was doing and me fast forwarding 2X outside of towns, it still took way too long for me.

As for TASes, my mind was blown the first time I saw an 11 minute Super Mario Bros 3 run but I lost some appreciation once I learned that human hands didn't, and probably couldn't, produce it. For me, a LP of an action game is sufficiently fast if a skilled, knowledgeable player does it and I can turn up YouTube's fast forward to 150%. I also like seeing the human touch of a real play.

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Originally Posted by Violentvixen View Post
Video LPs are just harder for me to watch. I can't at work, people speak so much slower than I read and personally there's usually something I'm specifically interested in. I can search a text LP but not a video.
I get you about wanting to see just one part of a game to save time, but forgive my ignorance, what job do you have that gives you time to do anything unrelated to work? Every once in a while I hear about these.

How is the advertising money for video LPs split between the LP creator, and the game's copyright holder? I remember hearing several years ago that Nintendo claimed all of the ad revenue for videos of their games on YouTube, but I haven't heard the policies of any other publisher.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:28 AM
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I love LPs in all forms.

I really like LPs of games where there's some element of randomness, so if I play the game, I'm not playing the exact thing I just watched (Civilization, Total War, anything made by Paradox, etc). It never occured to me to turn the playback speed up...

I have a hard time watching an LPer for a game that I'm pretty good at. I notice their flaws and its so distracting. I know its really hard to play and talk and especially also interact with Twitch chat, so I don't blame them, but its easier to watch a game I'm not familiar with.
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2017, 07:26 AM
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I feel like we had this exact same thread like a year ago...

Anyway, I do this fairly often. I'll be doing it tonight, when I watch Brick and Nodal play Quern! I also watched Brick and Nodal play through Obduction that way, and it legit feels to me as if I played that game in its entirety, even though I never actually held the controller. I actually find that it works super well for Myst-likes, since I can kind of play along at home and think of solutions to problems they're having or notice things that they've missed, but I get to eat and/or noodle away on a portable system at the same time. It's win-win!
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega View Post
I get you about wanting to see just one part of a game to save time, but forgive my ignorance, what job do you have that gives you time to do anything unrelated to work? Every once in a while I hear about these.
Phones are banned in labs for safety reasons, and headphones are only allowed at your desk. I'd feel awkward sitting at my desk watching an LP, and couldn't do it in the lunchroom.
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:28 AM
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I absolutely do watch people play games online sometimes and think that's cool, but it's pretty rare that I'll watch a full video LP for the simple reason that it takes exactly as much time as playing the game myself would. That's why I like text LPs more, they condense everything down and cut out the boring stuff (especially in grindy games like some RPGs). Of course, it's also much easier to discreetly read a text LP at my desk, not that I'd ever do that!
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2017, 09:01 AM
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I for one am very offended that you would admit to watching video LPs in the subforum where I post my video LPs.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2017, 09:14 AM
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I've tried to get in to video LPs, but so many of the people who create them are just incredibly annoying.
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2017, 10:14 AM
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I feel this is entirely genre specific. I was actually expecting the examples here to be narrative games and walking simulators. Conversely, for many other genres, I don't think I have substituted games with LPs. I often watch LPs in close proximity (before or after) to playing the same game.

In particular, this part made me think:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega View Post
The LPs I've recently watched are Phantasy Star 1 and 2, 30% of 4 but I'm stopping for now because it's long, Metroid 2, Top Gun 1 and 2 NES, Ninja Turtles 1 and 3 NES, Blaster Master and Adventures of Bayou Billy. I'm now on Bionic Commando NES. There are plenty of newer games on my list, but I really enjoy being able to watch a whole game in about 2 hours.
Are you saying you were very likely going to play and complete these games before? Or were you planning to just give them a shot eventually, knowing that you might play for a session or two and move on? I wonder if the LPs were just serving the same purpose of providing enough actionable information to decide if they would valuable experiences to you or not.
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:23 AM
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I prefer screenshot LPs over video, because I can just leave the tab open and read, reread, and cross-ref at my own pace. Text LPs, like TheDarkId's or Brickroad's, also tend to be much more measured in language and tone, and since they don't have to "pause" the action, their commentary and insights can be more detailed than a video LP would afford. There's no cults of personality or an obligation to be entertaining; sure, they strive to it, but even if a particular LPer's humor doesn't work for you, you can easily skip the snarky asides and just read the mechanical bits, which is impossible on video.

I also prefer to read LPs of games I've already played, because then I can nod along with the commentary or discover something interesting about a game I thought I knew. However, in the case of games I know I'll NEVER want to play, but have morbid interest in (eg Drakengard 1, Dirge of Cerberus, Metroid: OM, early-gen Pokemon) I happily read the LP as a transformative article, where I'm more interested in how the LPer makes the game their own and create their own narrative* instead of how the game actually plays.

I don't substitute games I want to play, though. Especially not video. I only do video for walkthroughs and specific strategies.
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muteKi View Post
I however, like any executive-trajectory sort of person, go for the digest reader version -- TASes.
Well then, TASes are another story. I LOVE those, especially when the T in question is merely save-states --they're just a show of what a completely flawless, but entirely possible run, would look like, and since they're USUALLY commentary-free, I can just watch and enjoy on my own. There's also some non-TAS MGS2 speedruns that utterly BREAK the game while making use of every last bit of programming in it. Wish I could find the particular one that made my jaw drop a few years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega View Post
As for TASes, my mind was blown the first time I saw an 11 minute Super Mario Bros 3 run but I lost some appreciation once I learned that human hands didn't, and probably couldn't, produce it.
Was it this one? I'm pretty sure it predates even Youtube.

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Old 09-29-2017, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
I've tried to get in to video LPs, but so many of the people who create them are just incredibly annoying.
SAW YOU TALKIN SHIT

LIKE I WOULDN'T KNOW
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  #17  
Old 09-29-2017, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dosboot View Post
Are you saying you were very likely going to play and complete these games before? Or were you planning to just give them a shot eventually, knowing that you might play for a session or two and move on? I wonder if the LPs were just serving the same purpose of providing enough actionable information to decide if they would valuable experiences to you or not.
If I hear about a game that excites me enough that I want to play it, I read a couple reviews and watch a few trailers, then start playing. The only outside info I'll refer to while playing is TT, Gamefaqs, and maybe a few episodes of game podcasts.

If I'm somewhat intrigued by a game, I may play a demo then watch a LP of the rest (or parts of the rest if it's long).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
Text LPs, like TheDarkId's or Brickroad's, also tend to be much more measured in language and tone, and since they don't have to "pause" the action, their commentary and insights can be more detailed than a video LP would afford. There's no cults of personality or an obligation to be entertaining; sure, they strive to it, but even if a particular LPer's humor doesn't work for you, you can easily skip the snarky asides and just read the mechanical bits, which is impossible on video.

I also prefer to read LPs of games I've already played, because then I can nod along with the commentary or discover something interesting about a game I thought I knew.
Yes! I also enjoy reading an LP of a game I've already played because it's more thoughtful than a video one. It's also easier to skip to the bits I care most about. I agree with you about the ones Brickroad did here. Did he, um, continue those outside TT?

Quote:
However, in the case of games I know I'll NEVER want to play, but have morbid interest in (eg Drakengard 1, Dirge of Cerberus, Metroid: OM, early-gen Pokemon) I happily read the LP as a transformative article, where I'm more interested in how the LPer makes the game their own and create their own narrative* instead of how the game actually plays.
I like the idea of an LP being more about the LPer's experience than about the game's contents, but if I'm not familiar with a game I'm pretty sure I want to experience its sights, sounds and pacing (watching at 2X speed is still experiencing the pacing, I just imagine everything happening half as fast as I'm seeing it). I'm not sure I could get a good feel for a game I haven't played yet if I skip straight to the higher-level text LP experience. But as I said earlier, I might enjoy a 60 hour game cut down to a 2 or 3 hour highlight reel. I'd consider the immense time savings worth the loss of detail and focus, although I'd still probably prefer it as a video than as text and still images.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:31 PM
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Enjoy things however you want to (as long as you're not doing anything illegal). I mostly only play a few games a year and don't really plan on expanding that number so LPs allow me to experience more games vicariously and provide additional entertainment as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
I've tried to get in to video LPs, but so many of the people who create them are just incredibly annoying.
Agreed. I have found a few exceptions to the rule (or some who I can at least tolerate) and generally just watch their content almost exclusively.

I have bailed on watching a video series when the LPer has started annoying me too much. (Or pushed through and resolved to never watch anything by that person again.)

One thing I hate is when I feel like an LP is wasting my time especially by showing too many failures or by running something blind. Unless the failures are amusing and kept to a minimum. "Waste" your time learning to play the game, don't waste mine.
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
SAW YOU TALKIN SHIT

LIKE I WOULDN'T KNOW
You know this isn't about you! Yours are community voted/suggested and usually about very specific tasks.

I'm talking more about "huh, I can't find the entrance to X in this game, it's supposed to be in this one huge area, let me find an LP for that." And then I have to watch a 20 minute video with some middle schooler who most likely comments on a female character's boobs.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violentvixen View Post
You know this isn't about you! Yours are community voted/suggested and usually about very specific tasks.

I'm talking more about "huh, I can't find the entrance to X in this game, it's supposed to be in this one huge area, let me find an LP for that." And then I have to watch a 20 minute video with some middle schooler who most likely comments on a female character's boobs.
If that's what you need, then you should try searching for longplays instead of let's plays. Longplays usually have no commentary at all, it's just someone going through the whole thing (often in one sitting).
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:06 PM
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If that's what you need, then you should try searching for longplays instead of let's plays. Longplays usually have no commentary at all, it's just someone going through the whole thing (often in one sitting).
Thanks, I've never heard that phrase. That is exactly what I want.
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:57 PM
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Progress report!

I've spent the last week and a half tearing through video LPs. Here are ones I've seen so far. Next to each game in parentheses is how far I got playing it, to let you know I'm not totally lazy. Again, please keep in mind that over the years I've played thousands of games part way through and hundreds to completion. I've just recently decided to spend my time differently.

Games I own:

Air Zonk (played only a couple levels)
Curse of the Crescent Isle (I think I got up to the first god)
Devil's Crush (only played about half an hour)
Jet Car Stunts (got most of the way through, I think I quit on one of the very hard levels)
Fez (got a couple hours into it. Yes, I know this is a tragic game to spoil, but I'm determined to reclaim my time and I knew I was never going to get around to playing this more. It's nice that at least I purchased a copy, right?)
Life Force (couldn't beat the first level of the NES game on my own, didn't know the 30 life code worked on this game)
Pitstop 2 (played about half an hour on Wii Virtual Console)
Radiant Silvergun (played about an hour)
Ristar (got up to the last boss but couldn't beat him)
Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed (I got about 80% of the way through the campaign)
Ufouria (played about an hour, not sure if I even got up to Freon Leon)
Bionic Commando Rearmed (played about an hour)
Bonk's Revenge (got about halfway through the final level)
Strider HD (played the first couple levels)
StarTropics (I got up to the last or second to last dungeon before the spaceship)
Blazing Lasers (played about half an hour)
Puzzle Fighter HD (bought but didn't play, but years earlier saw a friend happily playing it)

Games I rented years or decades ago:

The Karate Kid (got up to the monsoon level)
Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhattan Project (got up to the boss at the neon sign)
Top Gun (I think I got to the second level)
Top Gun: The Second Mission (didn't beat the first level when I rented it, but I think I played it again on an emulator and got to the second)

Games I previously owned:

Blaster Master (I got up to level 5 or 6)
Metroid 2 (I got maybe 1/3 of the way through)
Shantae: Risky's Revenge (got up to the dungeon with the rotating eyes)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit on the Commodore 64 (got to the dip factory, didn't really know what to do in it) (watched the LP of the Amiga version which seems to have the same gameplay as the C64 version)

Games I haven't played before

The Adventures of Bayou Billy
Bionic Commando on NES
Phantasy Star 1
Phantasy Star 2
Strider on Genesis

Games I played at a friend's house

Ninja Turtles 1 on NES

Lots more are to come!
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  #23  
Old 10-08-2017, 02:07 PM
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Did you find any enjoyable LPers worth mentioning?
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:55 PM
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Did you find any enjoyable LPers worth mentioning?
JoshJepson, who played Fez, noticably had a lot of fun figuring out the puzzles and learning the game's lore mostly on his own.

ArmoredChocobo pointed out differences between Ufouria and Hebereke. He also improvised funny responses to the game's wackiness and creepiness.

Smight pointed out some differences between Bayou Billy and Mad City. He also had a co-host to talk to.

Proton Jon played through Ninja Turtles before he recorded his LP but he was so tired he didn't remember seeing the ending. When he beat it the second time he was surprised.

NakaTeleeli did a 2 player LP of Ninja Turtles 3 which is a lot more fun than doing it solo. He had a co-host for StarTropics and also played through StarTropics, which looked and sounded pretty tough.

Liam Triforce hired voice actors to play all the voices of Shantae: Risky's Revenge.

I'm only part way through Octotiggy's LP of Shovel Knight but they're doing it two player, which I didn't know was possible. Edit: They're putting on amusing voices for all of the dialogue text.

As Vergoagogo played through Metroid 2 he mentioned he was finishing high school and had taken a bunch of tough classes there, including physics and statistics. He didn't brag about it, but rather said they were tough. It didn't directly relate to the LP but it's nice to know some other things the LPers are doing in their lives, especially if it's something impressive.

Flock of Nerds had a co-host for his Bonk's Revenge LP and they had a lot of fun chatting it up.

The players of the other LPs weren't particularly amusing but they put in the effort to get through some hard games and that's still worth something.

I'll tell you more as I see more!

Edit: Octotiggy apparently gave up on Shovel Knight halfway through, but shadypenguin seems to be co-oping it from start to finish.

Last edited by Vega; 10-09-2017 at 04:37 PM.
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  #25  
Old 10-10-2017, 05:57 AM
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Rage Gauge Gamerz were a father, friend and son playing Last Fight together. They had fun.
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  #26  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:08 AM
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SomethingAwful's RedChocobo's amazing Pokemon LPs were the reason I ever even bought Pokemon games in the first place.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violentvixen View Post
You know this isn't about you! Yours are community voted/suggested and usually about very specific tasks.
Honestly I just really like posting GIANT_INDIGNANT_SKELETON.gif
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  #28  
Old 10-10-2017, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Vega View Post
I would love players digests of RPGs that cut them down to theatrical length movies.
Me too, which is why I wonder why game developers don't offer something like this. Why let all these nobodies* get those free views and sweet sweet Youtube advertising bucks when they could be offering the same thing on their own Youtube channel? Somebody's going to do it so it might as well be them.

* people who add no significant value to video game playthroughs
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:28 PM
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That sounds like Atlus' worst nightmare

Then again, plenty of people have uploaded the Metroid: Other M and various Metal Gear Solids' movie moves to YT directly, maybe with a logo or splash screen, and they've gotten away with it.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
SAW YOU TALKIN SHIT

LIKE I WOULDN'T KNOW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violentvixen View Post
You know this isn't about you! Yours are community voted/suggested and usually about very specific tasks.
Yeah, BEAT makes great stuff. I was talking about YouTube personalities who start with "whaaaaaat's happening y'all! this is Bill Bill 420 here with a let's play of Dishonored." And then there's 20 hours of him talking nonstop about nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
Honestly I just really like posting GIANT_INDIGNANT_SKELETON.gif
It's a good skeleton!



I also forgot to point out that I did find this really good LP of Astro Boy:



The LPer really loves Tezuka and goes into a ton of detail explaining all of the cameos and why they're important. I would definitely watch more stuff like this where the author added something to the game.
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